Sparring music.

Astral Black label head and Against The Clock challenger Jon Phonics has teamed up with FACT TV for a one-off audiovisual project.

Lifted from his new LP Letters To Home, ‘Gut Splash’ began life almost a year ago when we sent the Glasgow-based producer some footage we didn’t know what to do with and asked if he fancied doing a soundtrack. To our delight he said yes, and even got Astral Black producers DJ Milktray and Dressin Red involved too. Two months later, ‘Gut Splash’ landed in our inbox and we couldn’t have been happier.

“The footage had blood splashing on the floor and swords clashing, so we incorporated those sound effects into the beat,” says Phonics of his soundtrack treatment. “We wanted to retain a sort of kung fu vibe too, so used a koto and a bunch of ethnic percussion sounds, and added the vocal chops in for a bit of soul.”

Watch the video for ‘Gut Splash’, directed by Kamil Dymek, above.

Phonics recently dropped his new album Letters To Home, a record that he says is about “connecting the dots” between all his previous releases. “I sat down after Christmas 2015 and compiled the tracklist working in my father’s old office at my mum’s house. My pops passed away in 2005 but his office is still very much the same, sitting in there surrounded by photos of my family, and his old work made me want to make the most honest record possible.”

His Astral Black labelmates also inspired him to up his game in the studio. “Most the guys on the label are using just a laptop and making bangers,” he says. “Bushido made his EP on a laptop that didn’t even have a screen! Sometimes that just makes me want to strip everything back and work within certain limits, from the amount of tracks within a beat to the tools I’m using to do it. Sometimes it also pushes me back to just using the MPC too, because it’s like, okay, you guys can all do that, but this is what I do. It keeps me on my toes for sure.”

Letters To Home comes with photography from visual artist Bafic as well as vocal performances from Dirty Dike, Lee Scott, M9, Dressin Red and DJ Milktray. Stream the full album below.

Watch Jon Phonics make a beat in 10 minutes on Against The Clock.



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